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Boston Celtics vs. Atlata Hawks - Recap: Game 1

Who would have thought that Leon Powe would check into a playoff game before the 6-minute mark in the first quarter? He really came a long way this year and earned some money when his contract runs out after next season. 

Rookie mistake of the evening – I forgot that Comcast still broadcasts games when they are on TNT. As a result I missed all of the pre game awesomeness and the first three minutes. Kind of thing that could get my blogging license revoked.

Sam Cassell scored 10 points off the bench on excellent shooting (3-6 from the field, 2-2 from deep and 2-2 from the line). More importantly the Cassell intangibles seemed to be in full effect. There is something about watching him hit shots, talk to refs, yap at opponents, wave his arms on offense as if he were going to run something and take part in a borderline attack of Powe with KG that is comforting. He definitely brings a swagger.

It was good to here a full blown MVP chant for KG whose 16 points,10 rebounds and 4 assists don’t tell the entire story of his night. The Hawks simply had no answer for him and he was the defensive anchor yet again, finishing with a ridiculous +/- (+28).

Ray Allen’s +/- (+24) was second to KG’s on the evening. And much like the Big Ticket the boxscore did not do Allen’s game justice. It’s not that he scored 18 points. Don’t get me wrong that was nice. It was that he completely took over for a stretch (7:49 – 5:40) of four offensive possessions – 3 pointer, jump shot, 3 pointer, pull up in the paint – in the third quarter. That’s when the Celtics really started to put the Hawks away.

Even though I’m a little concerned by the fact that 11 Celtics played in the first quarter, there is something to be said for the argument that the Hawks don’t have enough guys that Mike Woodson feels comfortable playing. At one point in the second quarter Josh Smith blocked one of Leon Powe’s shot and then went coast to coast to finish. Yet by the end the Celtics were able to keep coming with some well-placed substitutions.

The pessimistic Bob Cousy has definitely been replaced by an optimistic, though slightly nervous, version.

Rajon Rondo – 15 points, 9 assists, boards and several “Are you kidding me?” moments. It’s nice that people outside of Boston can start to understand how dynamic Rondo can be.

It was especially nice to watch this blowout on the heels of the Pistons falling to the 76ers. I'm not saying Detroit lost because Rasheed Wallace was messing around towards the end, hanging out in Philly's huddle, shortly before missing a gimme lay up I may add. I'm just saying I prefer KG's approach.


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